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Colorado Car Accident Laws

Colorado Auto Accident Laws & Resources

Colorado is a stunning state with so much to see and do. And while most Colorado drivers do not have “car accident” on their to-do list, it does happen. If you are unfortunate enough to be in a car accident in Colorado, you should know what to expect afterwards. It is important to understand some Colorado auto accident laws.

With our help, you will know more about what insurance Colorado drivers must carry, what to do immediately after an accident, and more.

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Colorado Auto Accident Laws: Auto Insurance Requirements

All drivers in Colorado must have liability insurance. Liability insurance is for bodily injury to another party. It also covers property damage when you are at fault for an accident. You must have these minimum coverages in this state:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death per incident
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

What To Do If I Get In A Car Accident In Colorado

If you are in a car accident in Colorado, below are the steps you should take:

  1. Document the accident. This includes getting the time and date of the incident. You should request the other drivers’ information. This includes drivers’ license numbers, plate numbers, and contact information.
  2. Document the scene of the accident. You should take photos of damage to all vehicles, the position of each, the intersection, traffic lights, stop signs, and skid marks. Also write down how the crash happened, what happened after the accident, anything the driver said, and details before the accident.
  3. Call the police or 911. The police should arrive and take a police report. When you talk to the police, just focus on what happened. Don’t speculate or admit fault. Never give an opinion on anything and just stick to factual information.
  4. Get medical attention. You need to have a doctor check you over whether you think you have injuries or not. If you skip medical treatment, you may end up displaying injuries days later. But at this point, the insurance company will deny your claim.
  5. Call your insurance company and report the accident. Don’t talk to the other insurance company unless your lawyer is present.

Whatever you do, always remember one thing. Do not leave the car accident scene without giving your contact info to the other driver. If you do leave, you could face hit and run charges.

Is Colorado A No-Fault State For Car Accidents?

Colorado was a no-fault state for car accidents until 2003. But now, you must file a claim with the liable driver’s insurance company. This should ensure you have your injuries and damages covered.

If the other driver has little or no insurance, you can use your own underinsured or uninsured coverage to pay for your damages and injuries.

The Colorado Auto Accident Reparations Act updated the law.

Colorado Auto Accident Laws: Comparative Negligence

When you are in a car accident, it’s very important to determine who was at fault. It makes a difference for insurance and lawsuit purposes. This state uses a comparative negligence standard. That means that your settlement reduces according to your percentage of blame for an accident.

For example, say you have $10,000 in damages. However, the insurance company finds you to be 40% at fault. So, your settlement would be only $6,000. That is why it’s vital that you choose a skilled car accident attorney to fight for you. Your attorney will try to reduce the amount of blame you get for the accident. In turn, you get a larger settlement or award.

If determined to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you will not receive a settlement.

Joint liability also applies in this state. This means if there is more than one defendant in a car accident case, the 50% rule applies. But the relative negligence of the injured person measures against all defendants, not each individually.

For instance, the first defendant is 70% liable, the second is 10% liable, and you are 20% liable. If so, you would still get damages, even though your level of liability is more than the second defendant.

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The doctrine of Last Clear Chance also applies in Colorado. This scenario applies if the injured party was partially at fault but the defendant still had a chance to avoid the crash. In that case, the injured person can still recover damages.

For instance, a pedestrian doesn’t look before he crosses the street but the driver who hit him had time to avoid the crash. The driver could still be liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.

How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident For Insurance In Colorado?

There is no time limit for reporting a car accident to your insurance company, but it helps if you do so as soon as you can.

The first thing to do after the accident is to call the police and get medical attention. After addressing those things, you should call your insurance company.

If the police do not show up at the car accident scene in Colorado, you should provide your contact and insurance information to the other driver. Then, to be safe, it is a good idea to go to the closest police station and file a police report.

It can help your claim if you have a police report on file. Also, it protects you if the other driver decides to say it was a hit and run accident.

Colorado Auto Accident Laws: Statute Of Limitations

You have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Colorado. If someone dies in the crash, you also have three years from the date of death to file.

You will want to file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. However, it is better to discuss this timeline with an attorney. Filing as promptly as possible will help protect your rights. You want to stay well within the three year window to give you adequate time to try to reach a settlement. If negotiations don’t result in a settlement, you are still able to file a lawsuit.

Parking Lot Accident Laws In Colorado

Accidents in parking lots are common in Colorado. Here are some common scenarios and how the laws apply in this state:

  • Fault when driver backs out of space and hits car going down parking lane. In this situation, fault is generally with the driver who is backing out of the space. The car coming down the lane has the right of way, unless the driver in the lane is driving above the speed limit.
  • Fault when driver moves forward and hits a vehicle going down the parking lane. These crashes are usually on the driver pulling roward.
  • Fault when the car is backing up. The car backing up should yield to vehicles driving behind them.

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Car Accident Settlements In Colorado

There are many things that will determine what your car accident settlement is in Colorado. For instance, what is ‘average’ in this state could be different than what is average in Arizona. This is because the laws are very different. But it can help to learn about average settlement amounts.

In Colorado, the average car accident settlement is about 1.5 times of your total financial losses. You have the right in this state to recover all of your financial losses plus funds for your pain and suffering.

If you have serious injuries that involve a hospital stay or surgery, you may get more money than average for pain and suffering. But if there are questions about liability and you did not have as much pain and suffering, the amount you receive could be less.

Some data from Colorado suggests that a typical auto accident settlement is around $15,000 when there are injuries. Alternatively, you could expect about $3,000 for property damage only. There are a few cases with grave injuries that settle for millions of dollars. However, the vast majority settle for much less.

The part of the case that varies the most is the pain and suffering portion. Typically, the insurance company will argue your pain and suffering is less, but your attorney’s job is to argue it’s much more. A skilled attorney can reach a fair agreement with the insurance company. They will get you enough pain and suffering money to help with your recovery.

Colorado Car Accident Settlement Calculator:

Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident or otherwise injured in Colorado? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Injury Settlement Calculator.

Get Legal Help With Colorado Auto Accident Laws

If you are in a car crash, it is highly upsetting and stressful. But you will be more prepared with all the information on this page about Colorado car accident laws.

Please remember, if you are in a Colorado auto accident, you should stay at the crash scene until law enforcement arrives. Importantly, always seek medical attention immediately. You also should get in touch with your auto insurance company as soon as possible. Hire an attorney unless it is a minor accident without injuries.

If you do get in a car accident in Colorado, Lawsuit Info Center can help you find a skilled attorney in your area. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. Please use this website to locate a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim or lawsuit.

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